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AGRAS MG-1 Review

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Product Review

DJI announced its new DJI Agras MG-1 octocopter, specifically designed for agriculture uses. The drone looks totally different from the usual DJI drone models designed for mass use, mostly because of its unique agricultural tasks.

Agriculture today is considered to be a prime area of potential development and growth for the drone industry. The combination of speed and power means that an area of 4,000-6,000 m² can be covered in just 10 minutes, or 40 to 60 times faster than manual spraying operations. Farmers can now use drones to carry on many tasks, saving time, money and health risks.

Agras MG-1 has been designed to apply precision variable rates of liquid pesticides, fertilizers and herbicides, creating new levels of efficiency for the agricultural industry. The drone has more propellers than usual, which means much higher lifting power, especially for heavy lifting of liquids.

The primary use of the Agras is spraying crops, with the ability to cover between seven and ten acres an hour with a tank that holds 10 liters (about 2.6 gallons) of liquid. For farmers this is a totally new opportunity, because it's over 40 times more efficient than manual spraying.

The Y-type modular folding structure is very easy to install. Motor arms fold inwards making the aircraft compact and easy to transport. After use it folds down into a compact package. Farmers can now put it in their trucks, take it to the required field, and send it into the air in just minutes.

The MG-1 is made of high-strength carbon fiber materials, the body frame is light yet durable and able to withstand the harshest conditions. Using a microwave radar, the drone scans the ground below during its flight, maintaining the right distance from the sprayed crops while spraying the optimized amount of liquid. Although heavier than usual, it flies up to eight meters per second, modulating its spraying for even coverage.

The Agras can be used in automatic, semi-automatic, or manual operation, and is designed for durability with dust proofing, water resistance, and an anti-corrosive build.

The intelligent spraying system automatically adjusts its spray according to the flying speed so that an even spray is always applied. This way, the amount of pesticide or fertilizer is precisely regulated to avoid pollution and economize operations.

Equipment used in plant protection operations is susceptible to dust and corrosion, leading to high cost of maintenance and shortened lifespans. To counteract degradation, the MG-1 is designed with a sealed body and an efficient, integrated centrifugal cooling system.

Spray nozzles can be chosen according to the properties of each liquid to optimize atomization, energy efficiency and the amount of liquid sprayed. The included ceramic nozzle is resistant to wear and can be used for thousands of hours of effective spraying without degradation. In total, the MG-1 has four nozzles, each placed directly below a motor. The downward airflow generated by the propellers accelerates the spray, increasing its reach.

The MG-1 automatically records its rout and remembers its past coordinates as it makes its way across the field. In case the operation is interrupted, for example due to depleted battery or spraying liquid, the flight can be resumed from the last point in its memory after changing the battery or refilling its tank.

The remote controller of the MG-1 is equipped with the latest Lightbridge 2 transmission system which enables ultra low-latency controls. Like the aircraft body, the remote is designed with water and dust protection. A special low-energy display panel gives real-time flight information and is able to last over extended periods of time on a single charge. Together with the highly responsive joysticks and convenient function keys, mastering the art of agricultural spraying is made easier than ever before.

DJI vows to continue to develop new drones for industrial applications, deepening its market penetration with new devices for more innovative uses. Agriculture will definitely remain a major challenge with new advanced aerial solutions.

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